OZ Cabbie June 2015
Who would have thought: Dick Smith, 71, is among Australians receiving the highest of accolades to be awarded in the Queen’s Birthday honours this year.
Richard Harold Smith, AO, was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in 1999. Now he becomes a Companion (AC) in the General Division of the Order of Australia.
Smith never did get a qualification. He was 24 when, with $600, he started Dick Smith Electronics in 1968. “I was fixing the Manly Cabs radios. Twelve months later, my accountant said, ‘You’ve earned more than the Prime Minister.’ I had made $30,000.”
The budget papers predict the unemployment rate will rise to 6.5 per cent during the next 12 months, a level not seen in Australian since early last decade. That is likely to push the number of jobless Australians well over the 800,000 mark. The last time Australia had that many people looking for work was in late 1994 as the economy recovered from deep recession.
That may explain why our politicians, in particular on the right side of politics, are so keen to hold on to UberX. As the Treasurer said: “Uber is jobs, jobs, jobs”.
I expand on my opinion of our political class in the context of Uber in “We are ruled by Morons” Part V
Seems Victorian Taxi and Hire Car Families have ruffled some political feathers as news of them registering a political party has leaked out. I wonder if their party office will be at their new office at Moonee Ponds. More info in Jungle Drum.
The taxi industry at large is feeling the pinch from increasing competition from UberX, however, this has not scared off savvy investors from putting more money into ingogo. Maybe they know something we mortals don’t. More in Punters add $12 Million to ingogo’s kitty
33 Burrows Road, Alexandria is the home of the NSW Taxi Drivers Association. It’s also the home of Mutualcare Insurance Solutions whose boss, David Beydoun, who in January was charged by NSW police for: 1 threat to kill, 2 intimidation and 3 extortion after he was arrested following a fracas at Taxicare’s Sydney office. He went before the court this month and you can read about the outcome in Mutualcare boss pleads guilty in court
A couple of month ago Sydney taxi plate owners received letters from the NSW Taxi Industry Association and their network asking them to pay a $200 levy towards a fighting fund to take on Uber. If fully subscribed it should raise around $700,000. Some owners would like to know exactly what the money will be spent on. The letters didn’t say anything other than its for ‘advocacy and campaigns’. I speculate in NSW TIA places $200 levy on members to establish a fighting fund.
In It’s time for a fresh approach Ned Moorfield, co-founder and CEO of goCatch provides his views on the mess the taxi industry currently finds itself in thanks to UberX, government inaction and the NSW Taxi Council’s lackluster performance in tackling the problem.
Twenty Sydney UberX drivers are supposed to front court on 8 or 10 of July after Uber lost a motion to have the matters set aside on 24 June. We have now received information from a source that the Minister for Transport, Andrew Constance, may order an adjournment pending the outcome of a taskforce he plans to establish to review the taxi, hire car and ride-sharing industries.
LATE NEWS: Queensland has fined UberX drivers a total of $1.7 million. In the past year, 1536 infringement notices have been issued against 538 drivers for a total value of $1,732,262. Of those, 1234 fines have been paid, reaping the state $1,415,213 by Uber according to the Brisbane Courier Mail. Come on Minister Constance, show some backbone.
I thought I should tell you that I have been on my computer for the past 26 hours without sleep and I’m still going, as I must get this off to the printer in the next two hours. As a consequence more than half the content never made it to my sub-editor so if there are more errors than usual please don’t blame him.
Here is to the the elusive level playing field,